Our partners

Culture Forward is proud to have the following organisations as our valued founding partners. 

People engaging in an activity outside the Rep

Bertz Associates

Bertz Associates is a creative organisation that works with history to dream futures. We are based in Ladywood, Birmingham, which is one of the most diverse, youngest and deprived areas of Europe. We focus on working cross-culturally, intergenerationally and across socio-economic barriers. Our team is made up of creatives from diverse cultural backgrounds and age ranges , who each bring a different perspective to the organisation.

Our core value is co-constructive project work, and we have a particular focus on creating opportunities for emerging artists of ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds in the West Midlands through working with communities. Arts and heritage organisations often appear intimidating and exclusive to people of working class and BAME backgrounds. Our projects are designed to introduce people from marginalised communities to these spaces and support them to claim arts and heritage for themselves.

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Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the green heart of Birmingham and an educational charity, offering a uniquely biodiverse natural environment. It is one of the UK’s most significant historic Botanic Gardens which has remarkably remained intact since 1829.

The Gardens offers something for everyone. With over 7000 plants to explore in our 4 Victorian Glasshouses and exciting outdoor Gardens including two Alpine Gardens, the Japanese Garden showcasing the National Bonsai Collection, a Pinetum, the Adventure Playground, and a rolling lawn overlooking our authentic bandstand and Aviaries.

Logo of The Birmingham Botanical Gardens - an Education Charity

Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council is the local government body responsible for the governance of the City of Birmingham in England, which has been a metropolitan district since 1974.  It is the largest local authority in Europe.

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Birmingham & Midland Institute

The Birmingham & Midland Institute has been at the heart of Birmingham’s cultural life for almost 170 years. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1854 for the ‘Diffusion and Advancement of Science, Literature and Art amongst all Classes of Persons resident in Birmingham and Midland Counties’.  George Dawson lectured here and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Aston University both trace their origins to the Institute.


Birmingham Midlands Institute coat of arms

Birmingham Museums Trust

Birmingham Museums Trust is the UK’s largest independent museum trust and is responsible for 9 sites across the city of Birmingham as well as a world-class collection of over one million objects. The role of the trust is not only to act as a guardian of those buildings and collections but to be an active contributor to social change.

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Birmingham Rep

Birmingham Rep is the oldest building-based theatre company in the UK. The Rep’s mission is to create artistically ambitious popular theatre - world class, for everyone. The commissioning and production of new work lies at the core of The Rep’s programme and over the last 15 years it has produced more than 130 new plays, many of which have had lives beyond Birmingham on tour and in the West End.

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Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet is one of the world's great ballet companies, a true powerhouse in classic ballet and contemporary dance. Proudly rooted in Birmingham, our home since 1990, we cherish our connections with the diverse people of our city. We tour around the UK and internationally, bringing world-class ballet and live music to the widest range of audiences in our nation and beyond. 

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Chamberlain Highbury Trust

Located in Moseley within Highbury Park, The Chamberlian Highbury Trust's aspiration is to make Highbury fully accessible to everyone and regain its rightful place in Birmingham’s historical and cultural landscape. Most importantly, we want Highbury to engage young people from all backgrounds and encourage them to take inspiration from the Chamberlain family heritage and Birmingham's place on the world stage. With a major Mansion and Grounds restoration project underway, Highbury is set to become a major attraction and hub of the city.

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Culture Central

Culture Central is a collective, and a collective voice for the cultural sector in the West Midlands. It convenes, challenges and connects, to create opportunities through culture, for the people and places of the region.

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is the flagship of musical life in Birmingham and the West Midlands – and one of the world’s great orchestras. Resident in Symphony Hall B:Music Venue, the CBSO typically gives over 150 concerts each year in Birmingham, the UK and around the world, playing music that ranges from classics to contemporary, film scores and even symphonic disco. With a far-reaching community programme and a family of choruses and youth ensembles, it is involved in every aspect of music-making in the Midlands.

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Ex Cathedra

Ex Cathedra is a world-class ensemble that leads the choral sector in the fields of performance, learning and wellbeing. For more than 50 years it has been producing inspirational concerts and participatory projects. It takes pride in developing the choral artform, place training and development at the heart of its work, and its team of expert Vocal Tutors deliver award-winning projects that enrich people in schools, communities and hospitals.

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Fleeting Year Films

Fleeting Year Films is run by BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning documentary producer Andrew Smith. Andrew was born and raised in the Midlands and specialises in making films, radio documentaries and podcasts about art, culture and society, with a particular focus on the intersections between literature and life. In a 30 year career, he has also made a number of films on human rights, international conflict, development issues and the environment.

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Gospel Revisited Project

Gospel Revisited Project seeks to celebrate the history, heritage and influence of gospel music, through the careful re-imagination and rearrangement of both classic and contemporary scores. Founder Ray Prince MMus, PgDip created Gospel Revisited Project because of his love and passion for the genre. Ray wanted to honour gospel innovators through the revisiting of the music, which has been so impactful for the music industry in general, but more specifically for the Black Caribbean diaspora and culture. His vision is to bring gospel to the masses.

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Ikon is an internationally acclaimed art gallery situated in central Birmingham, offering free entry to all.

Established in 1964 as an artists-led alternative space, it has evolved into one of the most internationalist artistic programmes in Europe combining established with emerging artists.

Housed in a magnificent Victorian school building, it is an educational charity for the promotion of visual art of international significance, playing a key role in the cultural life of the region.

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King Edward VI Foundation, Birmingham

More than 11,000 children - that's more than one in ten of Birmingham's secondary age pupils - attend a King Edward VI school, and this number is growing. This unique educational institution, with its blend of state and independent, selective and comprehensive schools, has collaboration at its heart. Developing impactful partnerships is central to its ambition to make Birmingham the best place to be educated in the UK.

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The Museum of Islamic Arts & Heritage (MIAH) Foundation

The Museum of Islamic Arts & Heritage (MIAH) Foundation is a charitable organisation established in 2020. It aims to promote awareness and understanding of the history, arts, culture and heritage of the Islamic world, as well as the history of Muslims in Britain and Europe through exhibitions, education, workshops and events. Their long-term objective is to raise funds to establish the UK’s first independent museum dedicated to the arts and heritage of Muslims and the Islamic world.

We also aim to increase the representation and engagement of people of colour and minority groups of Muslim heritage with the arts, culture and heritage sector through greater provision that considers their faith and cultural identities.

Museum of Islamic Arts & Heritage (MIAH) Foundation logo


Soul City Arts

Soul City Arts bring together people divided by culture, faith and ethnicity. Not afraid to address ‘the elephant in the room’, we use the arts in order to counteract social divides. The organisation is founded and led by Artistic Director Mohammed Ali MBE.

SCA delivers programmes nationally and internationally, from a large warehouse base in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, where they are embedded in the local community.

Through theatre shows, art installations, film projections, conversations and heritage exhibitions, Soul City Arts aims to get people to look into each other’s lives in an increasingly polarized society, to deliver demonstrable change, not to pay mere lip service. SCA’s trademark involves bringing diverse communities together but doing so through a visually stunning aesthetic. 

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Writing West Midlands

Writing West Midlands is the literature development agency for the West Midlands, supporting creative writers and creative writing. It offers support to help writers establish their writing careers. It supports young writers as they develop their interest in creative writing. It runs festivals and events, including the Birmingham Literature Festival and the annual National Writers’ Conference.

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